Walmart Bass Fishing League - Michigan
Detroit River (Sept. 18-19, 2004)
TRENTON, Mich. — Boater John Zubkoff of Holland, Ohio, earned $6,370 Sunday as winner of the two-day, season-ending Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division Super Tournament on the Detroit River. His two-day total of 38 pounds, 1 ounce topped 104 fellow competitors in the Boater Division.
Zubkoff caught 19 pounds, 14 ounces Saturday to advance to Sunday’s competition, where he caught 18 pounds, 3 ounces to post the heaviest two-day weight and claim the win. He caught his tournament-winning bass on a goby drop-shot. Zubkoff also earned a $1,000 bonus from Ranger Boats as the highest-finishing participant in the Ranger Cup incentive program, and he earned an additional $500 from Yamaha because his boat is powered by a Yamaha outboard. He also claimed a $1,000 bonus from Garmin for using Garmin electronics exclusively during the event.
Rounding out the top five boaters are David Hayward of Sylvania, Ohio (37 pounds, 13 ounces, $3,185); Scott Webster of Manchester (37 pounds, 6 ounces, $1,725); Butch Dobransky of Canton, Ohio (36 pounds, 3 ounces, $1,460); and Kevin Rathke of Albion, Ind. (35 pounds, 2 ounces, $1,194).
John Hempel of Brownstown earned $1,040 as the Boater Division big-bass winner, thanks to a 5-pound, 6-ounce bass he caught on a green tube in 25 feet of water.
Peter Defrancisco of Galena, Ohio, earned $3,185 as winner of the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of 35 pounds, 6 ounces. He caught his bass on a tube on Lake Erie in 20 feet of water. This is his first career win.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Todd Robbins of Romulus (30 pounds, 5 ounces, $1,593); Ed Keplinger of Logansport, Ind. (29 pounds, 5 ounces, $863); Richard Erskine of Lincoln Park (28 pounds, 13 ounces, $730); and Kevin Rybicki of Mishawaka, Ind. (27 pounds, 2 ounces, $597).
Chris Komosinski of Grand Haven claimed co-angler big-bass honors with a 5-pound, 1-ounce bass he caught on a green pumpkin tube. He earned $520 for his big bass.
Each of the BFL’s 24 nationwide divisions features four one-day tournaments and one two-day Super Tournament within the regular season. In Super Tournament competition, the entire field competes on day one and the top 20 percent advances to day two, with the winners determined by the heaviest two-day catch weights. More money is awarded at Super Tournaments as well as more points that count toward year-end angler standings. In a Super Tournament, 300 points are awarded for first place, 299 for second, 298 for third, and so on.
Brian Hensley of Edwardsburg earned $1,000 as the Yamaha “Be the Best” boater points champion in the Michigan Division with 1,010 points for the season. Mike Haws of Osceola, Ind., earned Yamaha “Be the Best” points champion honors and $500 in the Co-angler Division. He earned 987 points this season.
The top 30 boaters and co-anglers in the Michigan Division will advance to the Kentucky Lake regional presented by Yamaha, which will be held Oct. 12-16 in Gilbertsville, Ky. There they will compete against qualifying anglers from the Choo Choo, Hoosier and Great Lakes divisions for one of six slots in the 2005 All-American. The All-American awards a $100,000 cash prize to the winning boater and $50,000 to the winning co-angler, making it one of the most prestigious and lucrative events in competitive bass fishing.
Anglers who compete in all five regular-season events within a division but do not advance to regional competition are eligible to fish the Chevy Trucks Wild Card for an All-American berth. Six nationwide regionals plus the Wild Card will each send six boaters and six co-anglers to the All-American for a total field of 84 competitors.
The $6.3 million Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League features 24 divisions nationwide. In BFL competition, boaters and co-anglers are randomly paired, with boaters supplying the boat and fishing against other boaters and co-anglers fishing from the back deck against other co-anglers. For more information or to enter a tournament, call (270) 252-1000 or browse this Web site.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s most respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its six tournament trails. Wal-Mart has been the title sponsor of FLW Outdoors since 1997. For a complete list of FLW Outdoors sponsors and for more information about the premier products and services they offer, please visit FLWOutdoors.com’s sponsor page.